Women in Business

Marietta Traditional Project: Piano Room

Right this minute the joists and subfloor in my guest bathroom are being cut out to be replaced. My poor house was left to rot into the ground over the years by owner after owner neglecting to take care of leaks, water mitigation, and just general upkeep. Sometimes, buying a fixer upper is a pain in the you know what. At least we have a good contractor who is doing the work for us so we don't have to go too long with our home in shambles because we just do not have the time to do the work ourselves. I'm excited to share all of that progress soon, but for now, it's just sawdust and loud banging and buzzing. You can follow along with the progress of that project and other of my home projects on my Instagram, @susiemaedesign. 

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Let's talk about something that doesn't involve saws, joists, OR water damage! How about a serene family space? Here's a lovely, recently completed multi-purpose family room that has come a long way at the Marietta traditional project. It started out as sort of a catch all storage space with very little light and no real purpose aside from housing old toys and a piano. This family of four needed this space to work for them as more than a storage unit. It's just off the front entrance of the home so it needed more presence for sure, so we had to make sure it said "Welcome! Our home is pretty, and cozy" and really set the tone for the rest of the house. We affectionately call this "the piano room". It's a play on a formal living room, but updated for current life.

BEFORE

BEFORE

BEFORE

BEFORE

This room spans the length of the home, from the front of the house to the back, so it's a long room and needed zones to create a cohesive space with multiple uses. It also needed to be lightened up, both in terms of paint color and actual electrical lights. We added a series of 8 can lights (4 sets of 2) down the length of the room and later on added more localized lighting once furniture went in. After that, the ceiling got a fresh coat of white paint and the walls went Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray. This gray has a good bit of blue in it so while it is a neutral it also serves as a soft wash of color. I've decided to call this type of color "bluetral". A mashup of blue and neutral because blue really does act like a neutral quite often. Like blue jeans, neutral blues go with just about everything.

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Next, we pulled together a furniture plan. To get those zones, we created a game/homework table that can double (or would it be triple?) as additional dining space for parties and larger family gatherings, as well as a sitting room centered around the piano, and storage console at the entrance to provide a natural focal point.  

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Next came selecting fabrics and finishes for each piece of furniture and for the drapery. We had custom functioning drapery made so that the family could enjoy privacy at night without the need for blinds or shades, allowing more natural light to come in during the day. This color palette is a dream! The rose tone we used on two skirted swivel chairs, stain-resistant taupe on the ottoman, a super strong Crypton on the loveseat, beautiful cream linen on the drapery with a nice tape edge trim, and pulling it all together, a watercolor inspired print for the throw pillows. 

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

This is one of my favorite parts of this space! This gorgeous cupboard is filled with board games, homework, and craft supplies all while looking uncluttered and refined. What a victory! Just above the cupboard is a beautiful piece of art my client found through Atlanta Artist Collective. It has the right scale, mood, and palette to complement the space without looking "matchy". In this case we selected the art towards in the end of the planning phase, but I love how it looks like we planned the room around this piece rather than the other way around. 

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Since the children both play piano (and it's a pretty upright!), it was important to keep the piano a key figure in the room. The piano anchors the sitting room area and gives focus to the space. We had custom frames made to house portraits of each child and a whole family photo on this side, and landscape photos from their travels mirror this arrangement on the other side of the space above the loveseat. We kept the piano top simple, but decorative. Since it will be frequently used, overdoing it wont work. 

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

See the landscape photos above the loveseat? We used some repetition throughout the space to create balance and symmetry with those images, color, texture, and pattern. The rose colored chairs swivel to offer options for conversation or to enjoy a piano concert. We chose a large ottoman to offer foot propping access for everyone seated around the space as well as extra seating when larger groups gather. This rug is another favorite part for me. It's a stunning hand knotted wool rug with an antique feel. The colors are muted, yet still colorful. I adore the thin fringe on the ends as well. 

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

While the room is not particularly formal, we wanted to be sure the game/homework area felt decidedly less formal than the other side. To encourage family time and fun without feeling fussy, we selected a natural weave rug with a subtle pattern and again, gorgeous fringe detail to anchor the space and not compete with the rug on the opposite side of the room. A family style solid wood table resists scratches and dings from pencils and Monopoly pieces, and Crypton covered seats finish off the pretty ladder back chairs. 

I loved designing this space! It's family friendly, yet refined. Neutral, yet colorful.

BEFORE AND AFTER

BEFORE AND AFTER

We hope you will feel inspired to create a space for your own family that works in a variety of ways. Find a place where there is wasted space and make use of it. If lack of space is your issue, create multipurpose solutions to make your home work better for you! If you need help making the best use of what you have and you want your home to be the best it can be, contact me today to schedule your consultation!

Design, concepts, and written content by Susie Mae Design.

All completed room images by Christina Wedge Photography

Spotlight On: Studio M

We at Ends In Style love to support and highlight other creatives in the Atlanta market. We love to see other people succeed in their chosen field and to be inspired by their work. Today, we're turning the spotlight an inspiring girl power design duo, Studio M Interiors! Just try not to be inspired by their work in the photos below. Just gorgeous and vibrant! 

Let's get to know them a little better:

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Which of your career milestones make you most proud?

Marni: The upcoming 10 year anniversary of Studio M Interiors. I saw a quote recently that said 'I once went job hunting. Hired Myself. Never looked back'. Growing my own company and making a name for it has been incredibly rewarding. We're proud of the awards we've received including several 'Before and After' Contest awards and we were excited to be nominated for an IIDA BOB award this year for our Cambria Showroom project. Also, several years ago I was recognized as one of The Atlantan's 'Women of Power and Influence.’
Jennifer: Being able to stay busy during the downturn of the economy is a ‘milestone’ that we are very proud of. We are a unique firm in that we do a combination of projects ranging from residential, multifamily, and boutique commercial which means that we are able to flex with the markets in the Southeast depending on which sector is busiest at the time. I have also participated with several charity organizations to offer my design skills and time to help others which is the biggest blessing and accomplishment I can think of.

 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

 

How did you become a designer and where did you learn your skills?

Marni: I always knew I wanted to be a designer. When I was 10 years old I wrote a paper on what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said 'a successful residential designer in Dallas, TX.' I used to shadow an interior designer cousin of my Mom's for fun. Coincidentally, I ended up going to The University of Texas at Austin. Unlike most of my friends, I knew from day one what my major was going to be and actually stuck with it through college. Somehow I persevered trying to land my first job at a design firm during a very bad economy and the rest is history!

Jennifer: Being an interior designer is just something I innately knew I wanted to be, even as a child. My parents were often displeased at my incessant need to rearrange my room, whoops! I attended Valdosta State University to study interior design, embarking in design immediately out of school in 2010 after moving to Atlanta. I began working as a designer at a high-end home furnishings retailer until I was offered a full-time position at Studio M in 2011. So many of the skills I’ve acquired have been learned in the field while practicing. Design is ever-changing and your roles can range from pillow-fluffer to full-on counselor, so being able to think on your toes creatively is crucial.

 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

 

What's your secret for running a business and maintaining your personal life?

Marni: This is a loaded question! Seriously though, it's a constant process of trial and error. Mainly, I have to set boundaries and stick with them. I try my best to remember to make time for myself. Sometimes I go as far as blocking out an appointment with myself in order to make it happen.
Jennifer: The world of design is very tricky. It has a way of blending into your everyday life, sun up to sun down, particularly in a small business such as ours. There is always something to be done and never enough time in the day to do it all. I have tried (successfully, after much trial and error) to set a schedule each day and stick with it. Having a regimented work time schedule means nights and weekends are mine to spend on other things without feeling guilty. I do frequently attend industry events and am on the board of Design Collective Atlanta, but I always try to leave myself enough time and energy to do things that I enjoy outside of design. 
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

 

What's your favorite destination?

 

Marni: I am enamored by Rome, Italy. I find it inspirational from a design standpoint and I love wandering the streets aimlessly. You never know what you are going to stumble upon.

 

Jennifer: Although my list of future places to visit is extraordinarily long, my favorite place I’ve visited thus far is LA. It has such cool blend of historical sites, outdoor landmarks, and a great food/music scene that we end up doing completely different things each time we visit. On our last trip, we stayed in a early 1900’s Bungalow right off Abbot Kinney which meant we were within walking distance to the beach, wonderful food, great art galleries, amazing coffee shops, live music bars, and the fun people-watching on Venice Boardwalk. 

 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge